As some of you may remember, last year we entered a little garden show called the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. As part of our (ahem… gold-medal winning) Show Garden entry, we held a competition for two lucky UK residents to win a trip to Australia to see the real thing at RBG Cranbourne.
The winners, Kevin and Gillian Shelton, arrived last week and have been sampling some of the best accommodation, dining and experiences that Victoria has to offer. The Sheltons entered the competition along with more than 24,500 entrants.
“This is our first visit to Australia and it’s something that we’ve always wanted to do,” explained Kevin Shelton.
Thanks to our prize partners at some of Victoria’s leading attractions on the South East Touring Triangle, the Sheltons are enjoying a brilliant 11-day prize package valued at more than $8,500.
The Sheltons have the opportunity to get up close to koalas, penguins and seals at Phillip Island; savour some great Australian wines and float above the Yarra Valley in a hot air balloon; be pampered at the Peninsula Hot Springs; and explore some of Victoria’s world-class gardens. As you can see from the photos below, they’re handling it all rather well!
Some of the highlights on the couple’s jam-packed itinerary include:
- Exclusive helicopter and hot balloon rides over Melbourne and the Yarra Valley
- Must-do Melbourne experiences such as Eureka Skydeck, Neighbours tour, and the National Sports Museum
- Gourmet lunches and wine sampling at some of the finest wineries on the Mornington Peninsula including Montalto, Max’s of Red Hill and De Bortoli
- Dinners on Melbourne’s iconic Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, at the beautiful Chateau Yering in Yarra Valley, and limousine transfers to dinner at the stunning Skyhigh Restaurant at Mt Dandenong
- An afternoon of pampering at Peninsula Hot Springs
- A close encounter with koalas at Healesville Sanctuary, tour of Phillip Island Nature Parks, seal-watching on a Wildlife Coast Cruise, and lunch at Rhyll Trout Bush Tucker Farm
- VIP experiences at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, including the Aboriginal Heritage Walk and Devonshire tea
- Exclusive tour of the Australian Garden at RBG Cranbourne – the inspiration for RBG Melbourne’s gold-medal winning show garden at the 2011 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The Sheltons will also get a sneak peek at the second and final stage of the Australian Garden at RBG Cranbourne. The completed Australian Garden is set to become one of Australia’s major tourist destinations when it opens to the public in late 2012.
The nine hectares comprising Stage 2 of the Australian Garden will extend the success of Stage 1 and enhance community engagement and visitor experiences, with the addition of new plantings, public amenities, landscapes, artworks, interpretive information and educational resources.
The Royal Botanic Gardens would like to thank its generous prize partners:
Tourism Victoria Mornington Peninsula Tourism
Destination Melbourne Yarra Valley Tourism
Destination Phillip Island
Accommodation Dining Experiences
and Car Hire
Chateau Yering, Yarra Valley Australian Wine Tour Company Bunyip Tours Hertz Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Eureka Skydeck
Hotel Charsfield, Melbourne De Bortoli Winery Global Ballooning
Lindenderry, Red Hill Max’s of Red Hill Healesville Sanctuary
Loft in the Mill, Olinda Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove Heli Experiences
Silverwater Resort, Phillip Island Rhyll Trout Bush Tucker Farm National Sports Museum
Skyhigh Restaurant Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate
Peninsula Hot Springs
Wildlife Coast Cruises